There are a lot of 3D printing-specific trade shows going on pretty much all the time, but the technology has been making a strong presence even at trade shows that outwardly have nothing to do with 3D printing – like auto shows or medical conferences, for example. LMT (Lab Management Today) was formed in 1984 as a trade publication for the dental industry, and a year later started LMT Lab Day, which has grown into North America’s most highly attended trade show in the industry. That’s nice, but what does it have to do with 3D printing? Quite a bit, it turns out, especially this year.
The latest iteration of LMT Lab Day just wrapped up, having run on February 24 and 25 in Chicago, and while the number of 3D printing-related announcements isn’t quite on the level of, say, CES 2017, there were still plenty. Unsurprisingly, Formlabs, a household name in dental 3D printing, was in the thick of the conference and used the occasion to announce a new partnership with dental laboratory equipment supplier Zahn Dental.
Under the agreement, Zahn Dental will distribute the Formlabs Form 2, along with Dental SG Resin, the biocompatible dental resin introduced last year. With the Form 2 and Dental SG, dental professionals can 3D print surgical guides, retainers, orthodontic models, aligners, bleaching trays and more.
“Zahn’s agreement with Formlabs underscores our commitment to providing customers with digital solutions they can rely on for their surgical needs,” said Ken Haldeman, General Manager, Zahn Dental – US. “Formlabs’s products have become indispensable tools for dental innovation. By continuing to offer innovative material and technology, we – together with our partners, such as Formlabs – are helping drive the adoption of digital dentistry, which is powered by 3D printing.”
In terms of new printer releases, MiiCraft unveiled the MiiCraft 150, a larger version of the MiiCraft 125, the company’s desktop jewelry-and-dental-optimized resin 3D printer released last year. The MiiCraft 150 has a build area of 150 x 84.4 x 120 mm, significantly larger than the 125 which can print objects up to 125 x 70 x 120 mm. The 150 also boasts a resolution of 78um and has an open materials system.
In addition, MiiCraft demonstrated MiiUtility3.2.7, the latest version of their slicing software, which is integrated with MiiCraft printers. The new version of the software, which is designed to be simple and easy to use, now has 10 different dental scene modes that can be downloaded from the website, and more will be coming shortly.
Not to be outdone, EnvisionTEC previewed the Vida cDLM, the latest in the company’s line of dental 3D printers. It’s the second printer to be based on EnvisionTEC’s Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing (cDLM) technology, after last year’s Micro Plus cDLM jewelry printer. The Vida cDLM has the same large build envelope as the original Vida 3D printer, at 3.78 x 2.13 x 3.94 inches, but offers much faster print speed and reduces the need for supports thanks to the perpetual motion of the build platform in the Z axis.
“EnvisionTEC is proud to partner with leading dental professionals around the world on the development of new 3D printers and materials that are transforming the way custom dental parts are made,” said EnvisionTEC CEO Al Siblani. “We are excited to bring the Vida cDLM to the dental industry. Our expanding dental 3D printer line is now unrivaled for productivity, accuracy and flexibility of materials.”
Speaking of materials, EnvisionTEC also unveiled yet another new resin: E-Model, an accurate, durable material designed for the creation of dental models such as crown and bridge models and thermoformed aligners. It can also be used on EnvisionTEC’s larger printers, such as the Vector 3SP. The Vida cDLM will have a limited production run in the second quarter of this year, followed by a full production launch. Discuss in the LMT Lab Day forum at 3DPB.com.
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